Expert Answers to Your New Deck Questions

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A custom wood deck installed by The Deck AuthorityIf you’re thinking about adding a deck to your house or replacing a current deck, you’re likely full of deck building questions. Luckily, the experts at The Deck Authority have the answers you need. Read more to discover deck questions and answers for the educated home owner!

Do I need a building permit to build a deck?

In most cases, your municipality will require a building permit as well as a zoning permit to build a new deck. If you are replacing a current deck with the same footprint, your deck could be grandfathered in, or your previous permit may cover the replacement. Most areas will not require a permit to do repairs such as deck board and railing replacements, but some do. Therefore, you should always check with your local municipality.

New Deck Free GuideHow do I know when my deck needs to be replaced?

There are a few signs to look for when you’re trying to decide whether you need a new deck. If you’re unsure whether or not your deck can last another year, it’s a good idea to ask a professional. A free design consultation and compliance analysis can answer a lot of your questions regarding the structural integrity and code compliance of your existing deck. However, there are some signs you’ll probably notice on your own:

  • When you walk on your deck, you feel soft spots, and the boards quiver.
  • The wood posts are rotting, and your deck is swaying.
  • The deck railings have become loose and/or are missing balusters.
  • The ledger board attaching your deck to your house is deteriorating.
  • Termites or other wood-destroying insects are munching on your deck and causing structural damage.

Most decks that are 10 years old or older are not compliant with the current building codes. In
some cases, these existing decks can be adapted to meet code compliance.

How long does it take to build a deck?Repairing or building a new deck is something a deck professional can advise on!

The time that it takes to build a deck will depend on the scope of your project. However, weather and deck size depending, 
The Deck Authority’s crews can usually complete your project in 2-5 working days.

Can I build my deck myself?

You can.  However, building your own deck may or may not be a good idea depending on your building expertise. You will also need to make sure you comply with the latest local and international building codes as well as the permitting processes.

How long does a pressure treated wood deck last?

Pressure treated wood decks last longer than decks made with untreated wood. A new pressure treated wood deck can easily last 20-25 years with regular preventative maintenance.

What are the maintenance requirements for a wood and/or a low maintenance deck?

A new deck might have wood rails or manufactured rails made of PVC or aluminum.For a treated wood deck, regular intervals of light power washing and quality solid stain will give you years of enjoyment and an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

For composite decks, manufacturers have specific warranties for UV protection and structural integrity based on materials chosen. A good composite deck can be cleaned as needed with a garden hose and does not require the application of stains or sealants to extend its lifespan.

What is the cost difference between wood and composite decks?

The cost of a composite deck can sometimes be twice the price of a treated wood deck. Pricing can go higher or lower depending on materials chosen.

What are the warranties on a new deck or re-deck/re-rail?

Composite products usually carry manufacturers’ warranties for UV protection, stain and fade
The finishing touches on a wood deck include a coat of stain or varnish. resistance, and material integrity.  Some of the better composite manufacturers will warrant their products for up to 25 years. All treated wood decks have a limited warranty on materials.

Is re-decking or re-railing the right option for my deck?

While there are some cases where a deck should be replaced entirely, in other cases, your existing deck may be structurally sound and only require a “facelift.” Our deck experts can inspect your current deck at no charge to see if this would be a viable option for your needs.

Do you have any other questions we still haven’t answered?

We’re always ready to talk to homeowners about their outdoor products. Please feel free to contact us today so we can address any of your concerns.




  • Tom O'Brien says:

    We have a deck that needs a “face lift”.

    The deck is 20 years old. The walls are framed and stuccoed on both sides.
    All of the primary support 2″ X 10″ are in good condition.
    The support posts have always been stucco covered and are in excellent condition.

    The home is about to go up for sale. And a face lift is necessary.
    That is,we want to replace the deck boards with Trex and all the 2″X10″ s joists.

    Is an inspection by a county codes officer necessary and is a permit for this work necessary?

  • Elenia Curtis says:

    We have painted our old deck with a paint/sealer product by Pittsburgh paints. I want to know if putting an additional clear sealer over this will help it last longer or if the additional sealer will interact with the current sealer and ruin our deck. Or am I just wastin money by buying an extra sealant.

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